In content marketing, it's easy to lose sight of the forest for the trees.
Website content developers must maintain a strict customer focus, and there's a good reason for that. SEO and content marketing can become extremely focused on numbers. You can get overwhelmed in statistics focusing on things like unique visits, search rank listings, keyword click throughs, and bounce rates.
While these are absolutely important elements of online marketing, there's an even more fundamental question to ask:
Am I producing website content that people actually want to see?
You can have the best SEO strategies and keyword picks in the world, but if they're not being incorporated into compelling, engaging content that grabs visitors' attention, they're not going to turn into sales.
Further, figures like download rates can be deceiving. Sure, a few hundred people a month might sign up to download your ebook, but fundamentally you have no idea how many of them actually read it, or do more than skim it, once downloading it. Even tracking how many downloaders eventually go on to convert only gives you a general idea.
The only way to feel confident that you are producing website content that people want is to continually strive to create better content, informed through smart use of analytics and cohesive marketing strategies.
Creating Better Website Content
The actual website content being created, of course, is going to be individual to every company. None the less, here are some things to consider that will help you make good content that reaches out and truly connects with your visitors.
Write to your audience. There's a tricky balance to strike here. Blogs are expected to be somewhat personal, but at the same time, they should be written to appeal to your core demographics. Matters such as point of view and tone of voice make a big difference. Consider whether you want to be casual or formal, or how relatively authoritative or humble you wish to be. These personality traits will be part of the image a visitor has of your brand.
Consider your audiences' interests. Try to produce website content which someone in your target market might want to see, even if they didn't care about your company. Find out what sorts of things they like which aren't directly related to you. If your market, for example, enjoys watching shows on The Learning Channel, you might produce an online video about your production process, especially if it's innovative.
Don't be afraid to be a little controversial. One problem with content marketing, especially in industries which have heavily adopted it, is that it can feel to visitors like it's the same information being repeated over and over. (There are only so many ways a dog groomer can write about flea prevention!) Bringing a novel idea to the table, even if it's not entirely fleshed-out, can be an excellent way to start discussions and attract attention. Blogs aren't peer-reviewed journals, and make a good medium for floating new ideas to see what people think of them.
Always keep current. If you're regularly maintaining a blog, you should use it to establish that you are and remain a thought leader in your industry who stays abreast of new developments. Try to talk about new trends or ideas that crop up, and write responses to important new published articles. The same is true of matters outside your industry. If your market is college students, being able to correctly drop in a relevant pop culture reference makes you much more credible and "in-touch."
Good Website Content Means Good Market Research
There's a simple theme to all of these suggestions: understand your customers. This seems little obvious to point out, but we see a lot of content out there created by people who clearly do not understand what their market wants. They create blogs that go unread, videos that go undownloaded, and social posts that go unshared.
Analytics and analysis of your website is an excellent place to start, and will give you a lot of good data about usage and viewing patterns. However, at some point you still need to step away from the numbers a bit. You need to be able to see your customers as people, with independent interests, and focus on making content that appeals to them personally.
Integrate these ideas into a cohesive marketing strategy, and you'll be making website content that attracts customers.
What methods do you use to gauge your customers' interests?